Souvenir from the past
“Trampled at the center, torn at the creases,
The red layered parcel of memories found its lost path
As it lay at my door step, awaiting to be opened;
Blue ribbons adorned the top right corner
While the black ones naturally followed the left,
On the whole it was a weirdly decorated box
A box that kept coming back, one smaller than the other,
As I kept opening one after the other with little insight
On what’s really in store, about the truth I failed to see
From the cover, about the lie I understood only from within;
The ribbons threaded together the memories of my past,
The ones I hid carefully from, until this very day
The demons that I had stood gua...
There are things too many to worry about
That there is hardly anything to ponder about,
There are deadlines brewing across the place
That there is hardly any space for conversations to happen,
There is enough chaos everywhere around us
That there is an unsaid peace settling within us.
In the tinsel town of Jamshedpur
We sit along the hustling stairs of life
Believing in the wind that brought us here
And the magic that it had unleashed
To stay strong, to stay true,
To be, in all humbleness, ourselves
Despite all that exists outside the door;
We choose to remain unfazed, untouched,
Because we know we matter more than the storm will ever be,
And we know we will survive this t...
The Dream I wish Wasn't True.
"I woke up one night,
Right in the middle, with beads of sweat
On my forehead and my eyes wide open,
I kept panting like the dream I was in,
The one that happened in pitch dark
On a strangely looking full moon night.
I seemed to stand among the margins of a neatly paved road, balancing,
With Land Cruisers running high on pedestrians,
While the peace loving protesters on the street
Tripping over gunpowder that ran loose in the sky,
And among that, in one darker part of the city,
At the pedestal where I stood, I heard the first scream,
A lady with her child ran past me, covered in blood,
Screaming and shouting for help;
Her eyes met mine as she wh...
“Opium of masses; Religion is the opium of masses.” The sociology sir spoke in his humble voice as he expanded upon the theories of Karl Marx. We on the other side of the table listened with utmost attention, unable to digest how our long held notions were weathering away in the storm called Marxism. A thought played out synonymously on our minds that the man with the huge beard wasn’t wrong, in fact was completely right in certain aspects.
In the age of unbridled materialism where our ideas are influenced based on the material outcomes they help us achieve, where a person’s value is judged by the economic weight they carry, where we have more than enough for the rich to feed but hardly a...
"The bulwark was bullied into the ground; the tower I believed to be protected crumbled brick by brick in the shadowy whirl. While the sun that rose in hope disappeared quietly in the dusty mist that kept rising from the trembling tower. The cacophony of grief that followed, sounded like a trumpet blown in the shuddering walls of a desert that had no takers, which had no life. The sheath of despair was finally laid barren while the vultures of fall stood awoken, and between this hopelessness & misery, stood a man wielding his sword in the air with his eyes transfixed on the enemy. Awaiting his near doom, awaiting an impossible win…"
"And she broke;
Every inch of her damned self,
Her wretched life and the memories she harboured,
Piece by piece shattered beyond redemption,
Piece by piece forgotten in the deep abyss.
The dark clouds that guarded,
The walls they made themselves out to be
Came crashing to ground every minute
While rising again within the fall, moments later;
The transition was complicated, confusing,
May be both, but the struggle seemed unending,
A scene that kept playing out from a never-ending loop,
But will and determination had some story of their own
That kept pushing her to break, that kept moving her to fall awake
To a reality that was true, that was unhinged from the past commotions
And the widel...
"A warm gritty evening on an unusually cold day, where the fishermen rolled their boats into an eventful sea while the coated couples on the sidewalk sweated more from the heat than their intimacy; the sky was marooned with an appearing moon and the disappearing sun, peppered in bits and pieces by the ocean breeze which buffered in and out like the internet before 3G. It was an awkward time for a vacation but you got to take it when it’s up on offer, especially when you are a cop and holidays are hard to come by.
It had been a rough couple of weeks since the massacre in Maria’h and not a day had passed since then that I hadn’t woken up in sweats with pictures of blood brooding over from ever...
"Thriving in chaos
And surviving in a flux,
Chasing the constant
And leaving with a rush,
Moving as a nomad
And experiencing like a child,
While hustling with reality
And living in the moment."
Spring has arrived.
"Storm snow and winter,
Frustration anxiety and depression,
Caught within and closed without
A question, the doors, the windows,
The epiphany of the unknown.
Scattered pieces, the pieces of our broken self,
Shining array in variance,
Shining thousand blinding suns at once;
Our crystal house that closed and shattered to ground
Becomes the beacon for others to hope and rise."
“In and out, day after another,
His bullshit or theirs, racking up the piles
One from his, one from them and one from yours truly
To build a shit hole, all covered and all elite,
All for a picturesque memory in their mind
Till the gloss paint in their hand is dry beyond life,
To fixate the destiny story to every living soul alive
Or dead, by ‘caste’gating the challenger or lynching the dissidents,
The torch bearers of our generation have their hands full,
Blood or saffron, it doesn’t really matter how it happens
A world sinuating around a single story with a prescribed role
And an undying, etched with an imaginary knife, status for one and all;
Change is blasphemy and inequality t...
“Identities. They are distinct yet complementary to one another; weaving themselves together into a cloak of personality which we so proudly wear as something we completely own. But we tend to forget that these layers have been merged and superimposed from the pieces of reality that society as a whole begets, thus evolving independently with the passage of time. Thereby making our individual acts nothing more different than the past, though camouflaged with a new style of packaging and delivery which successfully keep us astray from the desired change.
Take for example, religion. The order that emphasised on peace and service to humanity has been twisted and berated for antagonising the ver...
"There was this man who I remember seeing couple of years ago, a peculiar individual in his own right. He was draped in a saffron dhoti with number of beads around his neck which in turn was shielded with his really longish grey beard. His hair was unkempt so was his walk, absent minded it felt. But his eyes had an altogether new story on offer. Despite the wrinkles sagging over his cheeks, his sunken eyes had remained full of life as if they had never aged. There was a sense of excitement in his voice as he narrated the tales from mythology related to the Dashashwamedh Ghat on the banks of River Ganga, the place where we had been for the past two hours. Our itinerary had a long list of plac...
“Sea. I had heard a lot of stories, a few from my parents and a few by my friends but I as such never witnessed the spectacle, the grace of the deep blue sea. However, events of the past few nights had left us with no option but the sea. It took us over six hours manoeuvring through the forests to reach the coast. We had been extra careful to avoid the trigger happy guards, after all it was my dad who was leading the escape. There were over fifty of us moving together, some were carrying steel boxes on their head while a few brought along their cattle, but the most astonishing was the woman cladded in red. Her clothes were tattered at the edges while her skin bore many visible bruises, howeve...
"People usually fixate on how Delhi has only two seasons, the pinching heat of summer and the scathing cold of winter. Their premise is neither completely wrong nor completely right but for a person like me who loves the very onset of winter, there exists four. The two additions are very short in nature; they tend to disappear before we could realize their surreal existence. It was in March of ’96 when I made my first addition.
I was born and brought up in Delhi but the transition between winter and summer remained unacknowledged until then. It wasn’t a blink and a miss phenomenon; it took its own sweet time to mature while providing the time for us to adapt. But I only noticed it when I fe...
“Trouble finding framing engaging
Words that remain prudent to you
Me and them; words that keep the unruly
From uniting, from blabbering their way
Across with their nonsensical frame
Of reference that divide you and me
Into us and them through simmering discontent
Spread by exploiting the fragility in our mutual intent
To break the harmony by monopolising the reality
Established over a land buried with the trampled voices of dissent,
The voices that fought for you, me and them,
The voices that were finally silenced through the barrel of a gun
Leaving ideas in the word without their needed halo
While keeping the oppressed divided and the oppressors united
By building a notion in our mind t...
"Conversation. All that it takes is a conversation. It could be in your drawing room behind that cup of coffee, or while hiding together behind the blanket on a freezing day. It just happens. The unspoken words find their voice; the long kept guilt, the long held secret, the deep rooted prejudice, all these notions blown out of proportion in our mind, find their answers through a simple conversation. That's what it always took. So clear your throat, adjust your shirt, and then finally talk."
"They said that marriages are made in heaven. They said that there is one other person in the world who is perfect for you and without them you remain incomplete. I disagree. I don't believe that this is the only truth that exists. There are many other narratives that are equally true.
First love is always special. We have dreams for a future together; we imagine the wedding bells, the shiny dresses we would be wearing, the place we would settle, all of that within the span of long conversations we have while burning the midnight oil. There is that fascination about the other; the voice, their laugh, anything and everything about them seems really cute and beautiful. We get the feeling rea...
"There are way too many to point fingers at, it's way too easy from our home made podiums. It's far from comfort to get our own hands dirty, it's way too difficult to make that change a reality. It isn't a lot about the other who we point fingers at, it's a lot about that other within us. The other who is too busy to raise a hand, the other who has too many faces to satisfy. The other who relies too much on spoken letter, the other who has too little of spirit to offer. I believe in the change of that other, I believe that the change begins within."
"Why do our movies and us try finding our answers in black or white while our life remains grey from start to the end. Isn't exaggeration a ploy we tend to use to put our point across for wide unrelenting attention.
I find people mooted for an ideology, giving irrelevance to change while exaggerating the untrue to make their side of truth, the only reality for others to believe. The left think they are right, the right think they are no wrong, while I stand with many in the middle, watching the sheer Idiocracy both try to paint. I like many fail to understand, what does ideology have to do when you know humanity triumphs all. Why do you want to paint red or saffron when we are still unabl...
"I have this habit of scrolling through my Facebook wall on a regular basis, I am pretty sure I could find many like me. I halt at all the travel pics that come by, showing the diverse range of places people are travelling all across the globe. It's fascinating to be honest especially for a guy like me, who has been in constant company with the city Delhi for over four years now.
Apart from my daily hassles to achieve my much needed break from joblessness and achieving that distant dream, I travel. My next statement might be at odds with my previous one, bear with me and continue; apologies in advance. The maximum I have traveled in recent times would be the 45 minute metro ride which I now...
"The ball crashed into Mrs. Jadhav's house, shattering the window glass into pieces. It was stuck with immense power by Sunil, a thirteen year old kid from the neighbouring colony. He was touted to be the next cricketing sensation from the neighbourhood which had seen over ten representations in the Indian cricket team in past five decades. His father, Raghav, a former Mumbai Ranji team member, was a close friend of Daksh, Mrs. Jadhav's only son. Sunil rang the bell twice before Sunitha answered. She placed the ball in his hand with a gentle smile on her face. "Next time, hit it towards Mrs. Dsouza's house. She was laughing when you broke mine. It's time for payback!"
"Dadi, I am sorry." S...
"In an anxious little world of ours,
A world with a story full of contrasts,
Where peace is sold at a price
Too costly for the poor to bear,
And too cheap for the rich to ever notice;
Where men are treated as demigods
Whose gentle touch could awaken the dead,
While the women are the gentle objects
Gifted among the demigods with a nominal fee, dowry;
Where people believe in others
To such an extent that they treat them as God
And disbelieve in themselves, and their very own
To leave them at Vrindavan at the mercy of their Lord;
Where we preach cleanliness and hygiene in the nation
And promote Vasudeva Kutumbakam around the world,
While the sewer deaths continue to happen,
And the commun...
The Lost Friend
Another arduous day to begin with. The rain had given no signs of calming down even after two days of continued turbulence. The town had come to a virtual stop, there were hardly anyone on the streets and rightly so; the IMD had passed a flood warning, earlier today. I had just arrived at the place a couple of days ago, in search of a lost friend who my other mates claimed to be living there. It would seem odd to explain that the reason I was there in search of her was to get a piece for my story about the memory we created years ago.
She was my first actual friend to be precise, at least the first person who approached me. We were around 10 when we first met, it was her p...
"Sometimes we pull so many things out from our hat that it becomes impossible to get all of them back in."
"I don't seem to remember you anymore. You don't cross my mind during the busiest of days nor the loneliest of nights. It feels like I have forgotten how your voice sounds like, how that smile of yours comes about. You only appear like a haze in the memory down the lane, in the streets of our past. The ones I had been lost for long but still wandered nowhere but there. You were my companion in the innumerable walks my thoughts took me along, modifying and altering the universe for you and me to finally fit which the reality negated with silence. The unanswered messages, the unreturned calls, they don't cause my heart to pound heavily anymore, it seem to not matter. The perpetuity surrounding...
"I don't seem to remember you anymore. You don't cross my mind during the busiest of days nor the loneliest of nights. It feels like I have forgotten how your voice sounds like, how that smile of yours comes about. You only appear like a haze in the memory down the lane, in the streets of our past. The ones I had been lost for long but still wandered nowhere but there. Finally there is this sense of freedom, a feeling of being on my own at last, without the baggage of disappointment and loss. The shackles that I had locked myself in is finally broken, and you, I don't remember anything anymore."
"Abhi na Jao chod kar, ke dil abhi bhara nahin..." hummed the radio as we got ourselves entangled in the long haul of a traffic signal. I looked towards her as the song played out and quickly looked away as I caught her attention. She was adjusting her hair, tying it up neatly while placing the diamond shaped bindi, just above her nose.
"I am ready." She exclaimed.
"Isn't getting ready something that needs to be done at home?"
"It's home when I am there with you." She shot back.
"Ah, I see. That's why you are leaving me and going?"
"Dumbo, I am going only for a week and moreover it's a ritual that the new bride should return to her parents place after six months."
"Who cares about the ...
“Humanity, love for a fellow human being, is it some sort of a bargain we have to dish out every time we meet or converse with an another. Does it come out naturally to us or is it forced upon, like the innumerable veils we garb ourselves with. Couldn’t we just enforce a default and forget paying back the goodwill which others generously spend on us. Why can’t we treat it as an economic good, scare and non-renewable, using it only when we generate profit from it. Isn’t manipulation a quality? Why is it seen as a crime? Why do people see me as a misfit when they do what I do but only implicitly? It’s a strange world out there.”
The invisible thoughts flew around one after the ...
"I lay there among many other envelopes at the corner of a dark room, the room which the just married couple had used for storing their glittery presents and beautiful bouquets that they had received at their reception. It was a fancy affair I must say which actually made me feel left out; I was a simple white envelope which didn't have even a tiny glitter at its ends, so you surely can understand the inferiority I was going through.
I was cramped here in this room for both space and breath as Paisa Bhai, a healthy looking envelope, had landed over me in search for comfort. It had a smell of wealth all over it which made it harder for me to survive as I tried with all my might to retain th...
"I opened the door and quietly sneaked in. It was pitch dark inside, with loud sounds of snoring coming from the other end. I tip toed myself towards the corner room where lay my prey, the one I had been commissioned to permanently rest. It was my first time and I was only eighteen then. My hands were shivering out of anxiety as the knife was slipping down with sweat; I whispered out the name of my almighty, our protector to pardon me for my sin which I was about to commit. I slowly peaked in to check if the room was locked but to my surprise it wasn’t so. It was an unpleasant one; I was in no position to kill someone even if he happens to be the one responsible for towing down my enti...